Biography of José Calvo Sotelo (1893-1936)

José Calvo Sotelo. M. Santamaria.

Assistant Professor of law at the Universidad Central de Madrid, lawyer for the State and relevant Spanish politician, born on 6 may of the year 1893, Tui (Pontevedra), and murdered by a group of uncontrolled assault guards, died the night of 12-13 July in the year 1936, in Madrid, in retaliation for the murder of his companion, the José Castillo assault Guard lieutenant, well known Socialist affiliation.

Calvo Sotelo studied law at Zaragoza and Madrid. He/She obtained his doctorate extraordinary award at the Madrid University, so it soon entered in the body of State lawyers, the year 1916. He/She began his political activity within the party of Antonio Maura. His first written work was, precisely, the proletariat to socialism and the maurismo, for the year 1917. Earlier, in the year 1915, he/she was appointed Secretary of the branch of political science and morals of the Ateneo de Madrid, who provided him with the opportunity to contact with the cream of the intelligentsia of the time, especially with the recent krausism epigones, and allowed him to imbue the proposals that they preached about the necessary reform of the liberal systemWhile Calvo Sotelo readaptó such a reform giving it a deep authoritarian character which was reflected in his second work, from the year 1917, the doctrine of abuse of the right subjective. In 1919 he/she got his first act Member, representing the District of O Carballiño, within the ranks of the party of Antonio Maura. In 1921, the Maura Government appointed him as civil Governor of Orense, which began its roots with the province and its political notables. Then it happened to occupy the same position in Valencia.

But the political career of Calvo Sotelo did not reach significance until the advent of the dictatorship of the general Primo de Rivera(1923-1929), always without breaking with the "maurismo", and keeping certain distances with the anti-parliamentarian of Primo de Rivera. Calvo Sotelo was to collaborate with the regime and thus carry out the reforms of the State that he/she considered necessary. Calvo Sotelo was put in charge of the General Administration direction, where it was proposed to solve the problems that embargoed to local and provincial administration, which were discussed between economic impotence and despotism inherited from the times of the restoration canovista. He/She took his reformist intentions with the enactment of municipal statutes (Decree of March 8, the year 1924), and the provincial statutes (Royal Decree of March 20, the year 1925), in an attempt to strengthen the local authorities, as well as these were also controlled by the State. Through this latest decree, the province was marked as the dominant jurisdiction over municipalities enrolled in it. The reform process was expanded with the introduction of the system of regional municipalities in Galicia and in the Valencian country, regions that he/she knew very well by its political practice. This project quickly collided with the persistent resistance of the local oligarchies, perfectly adapted to the provincial level, so the project could not be carry out. Another measure taken by Calvo Sotelo was the remodeling of the civil Governors and the creation of the Government delegate, with political not always satisfactory results.

In 1925 he/she was appointed Minister of finance by general Primo de Rivera, position he/she held until the year 1929. During this period, they hoped to make the reform of the Spanish capitalism, trying to incorporate the country to the new global economic guidelines, through the overcoming of classical liberalism and the creation of an interventionist State. Their most important decisions within this Ministry were the following: the creation of the petroleum monopoly (CAMPSA); the creation of Local credit, outside of Spain and mortgage banks; the nationalization of several companies; the enactment of the Act of smuggling and fraud; and the attempt to strengthen the tax inspection. Its economic policy in front of the Ministry of finance was highly answered by the opposition, as well as the oligarchic social classes, since they saw it excessively interventionist. Therefore, when fell the dictatorship, at the end of the year 1929, Calvo Sotelo had no choice but to resign, in January of the following year. However, Calvo Sotelo continued his political activity and tried to create, during the interim Government of Berenguer, a party, monarchist National Union, with the aim of bringing together all the monarchists, committed to the previous Government. The proclamation, on 14 April of the year 1931, the second Spanish Republic prevented him from go ahead with his political project, forcing him to the new political situation (completely against his person and his past with Primo de Rivera) into exile, first in Lisbon and later in Paris (1931-1934).

During his stay in France, Calvo Sotelo came into contact with French royalist nationalist authoritarian ideologues, causing a political evolution toward positions increasingly more extreme fascista-corporativista type. On the other hand, the exile provided him with the chance to write his political ideas and exculpate the accusations that were made to him in Spanish political circles. From his pen came the works: in self defense (1932), the political responsibilities of the dictatorship: a historical process (1933), and the voice of the persecuted (1933).

In the constituent courts he/she was elected Deputy for Ourense, but, given its status of political exile, was prevented from making formal possession of the Act of Deputy Act. In elections for the first legislative session, held in November of the year 1933, it was elected Deputy with two minutes, Orense and La Coruña, representing Spanish renewal party. Finally, on 4 May of the year 1934, returned from exile under the amnesty decreed by the right-wing Republican Government of Alejandro Lerrouxand Gil-Robles, which allowed him access to his Deputy for Ourense and resume his political activities.

Calvo Sotelo, on his return from exile and with new ideas, was proposed to carry out the creation of a wider political, fond of the monarchy, of renovated character, on the basis of its new directions and contacts with French and Italian authoritarianism, which aglutinase all those groups and sectors opposed to the current democratic and Republican regime. The idea crystallized with the creation of the National Bloc Party, ready to unite the efforts of all of these groups for the establishment of a totalitarian monarchy. For Calvo Sotelo, the monarchy was just a tool to be able to overcome the liberal and parliamentary system (rotten according to the own Calvo Sotelo), and thus proceed to the creation of a strong and Pro-State, Executive as well as the Italian model. On the basis of such political arguments turned the speech at the Academy of jurisprudence and legislation, on 20 November of the year 1935, with the title of contemporary capitalism and their evolution.

Calvo Sotelo national block did not obtain the expected results, since much of their possible electorate decided to support the right-wing party of the C.E.D.A, chaired by Gil-Robles, which had greater chances of success. Before such mishap, Calvo Sotelo attempted to enter Falange Española of José Antonio Primo de Rivera, son of the general who presided over the dictatorship. José Antonio flatly refused due to the insurmountable personal and ideological differences existing between both leaders.

With victory in February of the year 1936, of the Allied left-wing Popular Front forces, Calvo Sotelo was elected Deputy for Ourense, a Deputy Act protested by the Local Popular Front, although it was then approved by most left-wing of the House, since they were essential to the presence of Calvo Sotelo in Parliament as a valid interlocutor. All these political setbacks leaned to Calvo Sotelo to adopt a policy resolutely conspiracy, radical and antirrepublicana. From his seat, he/she starred in several incidents that made him earn the hostility of the left-wing forces, highlighting its ongoing clashes with Casares Quiroga. Calvo Sotelo became the spokesperson for the oblivion of the camera, position that call with all antirrepublicanas activities outside Parliament. At dawn on day 12 to 13 of July of the year 1936, Calvo Sotelo was taken from his home by deception and slain in an assault guard van. His death was which precipitated and gave arguments to the military rebellion that already is had been organized months ago. The death of Calvo Sotelo was seen by the rebels as the drop of water that filled the glass of the patriotic patience. Calvo Sotelo was declared the first martyr of the crusade against the "enemies of the nation" by the coup leaders.

Calvo Sotelo, dead.

Election of 1936


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